David Beckham more likely than Leonardo DiCaprio to make us act on climate change

January 26th, 2011 by Climate Week

According to new research released to mark the launch of the Climate Week Awards, David Beckham is more likely to inspire us to save the planet than green god Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Climate Week Awards will celebrate inspiring achievements by the greenest businesses, communities and people in the UK.

(click on logo to go to Climate Week website)

Climate Week commissioned Millward Brown to identify which celebrities have most influence in encouraging the public to go green. Bill Gates, Boris Johnson and David Beckham emerged as top influencers on the environment – amongst the most likely to inspire us to become greener. All figured in the top five out of a list of 20, beaten only by Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Meanwhile, Hollywood’s most committed eco-hero, Leonardo DiCaprio, languished in 14th place.

The research found a strong correlation between familiarity and green influence, showing that celebs who are not actively ‘green’, like Beckham, still have tremendous potential to wade in on environmental issues. This also explains why, amongst female celebrities, X factor judge Cheryl Cole beat known environmentalist Gwyneth Paltrow to be the woman most likely to make people more eco-friendly.

Commenting on the findings, sociologist and climate change expert Professor Lord Anthony Giddens, said: “The more we see other people being eco friendly – whether it’s the celebrities we follow or our friends and neighbours – the more likely we are to join in. Human beings are pack animals and we don’t like to be the odd one out.

Rewarding positive behaviour on climate change is immensely powerful. Studies have shown that while people act according to their values, social values can also be shaped by the behaviour of others. Practical example is often more powerful than heated argument.”

Supported by Headline Partner, Tesco, and Supporting Partners Aviva, EDF Energy, Kelloggs and RBS, Climate Week runs from 21-27 March.

Everyone will have the chance to influence the way society combats climate change by running an event for Climate Week, entering for an award or voting for their own Climate Week Hero at www.climateweek.com/awards

Research also revealed that as much as celebs like Beckham can persuade us to go green, it is those people closest to us who are most likely to inspire us to take action to save the planet – if only because they nag us!

This is particularly true of men, who are willing to go green if only for a quiet life. More than two thirds (69%) of men would clean up their act as a result of nagging, compared to less than a third (31%) of women.

By contrast, women (64%) are almost twice as likely as men (36%) to follow advice from people they see as experts

Kevin Steele, chief executive of Climate Week, said “the celebrities in our survey could become award-winning climate heroes, but the survey also showed that everyone can have a big influence with the people they know. The Climate Week Awards give everyone the chance to show what they’re doing to make a difference. From young activists to innovative companies and jaw-dropping technology, these awards will recognise the best ways of combating climate change, and bring them to public attention.”

To enter the Climate Week Awards or to vote for your Climate Week Hero go to www.climateweek.com/awards

(click the image to register an event that supports Climate Week)

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